A statistical profile of recently-hired TT Canadian ecologists

As regular readers know, I’ve compiled quite comprehensive data on recently-hired tenure-track assistant professors in ecology and allied fields in N. America. Recently, I gave a talk on these data to the EEB group in my department. Inspired by that talk, here’s a statistical profile of the small subset of the recent hires who were hired in Canada.

Over the last two years, I checked 32 Canadian TT asst. professor positions that, based on the job titles, might’ve been filled by ecologists. Of these, I identified 18 that were filled by ecologists. This is a very small number of hires, reflecting the fact that Canada is a small country compared to the US. So these are barely “data” rather than “anecdotes”. Even though my sample includes most recently-hired TT Canadian asst. profs of ecology and allied fields, the statistical features of that population may well bounce around a fair bit from year to year just because it’s such a small population. That’s in contrast to N. America as a whole. The statistical features of the entire cohort of newly-hired TT N. American ecologists do not change much from year to year, because it’s a much larger population of people.

Anyhoo, here are the results:

  • 11/18 were women. Statistically, that’s similar to N. America as a whole.
  • 11/14 for whom I identified their PhD institution got their PhDs in Canada. The other three got their PhDs from Australia, the US, and the UK. That’s similar to the US, in the sense that most recent TT ecology hires in the US have a PhD from a US university, and the few who don’t mostly have PhDs from other English-speaking countries.
  • 5/6 for whom I identified their undergraduate institutions got their bachelor’s degrees in Canada. The Canadian bachelor’s degree holders include one person with a US PhD; the others have Canadian PhDs. The non-Canadian bachelor’s degree holder got both a bachelor’s and a PhD in the UK. Again, that’s similar to the US; most recently hired TT ecology profs in the US got their bachelor’s degrees in the US. Note that you can’t necessarily infer where someone is a citizen from where they got their degrees. I suspect that most but not all recently-hired TT ecologists in Canada were already Canadian citizens or permanent residents at the time they were hired, and similarly that most recent US hires were US citizens or permanent residents when they were hired. But that’s an inference with some assumptions behind it.
  • On average, the recent Canadian hires were about 3 years post-PhD, very similar to recent hires for N. America as a whole.
  • The 15 recent hires with Google Scholar pages had a mean h-index of 8.5 at or around the time of hiring, similar to N. America as a whole.
  • 7/8 for whom I was able to identify employment at the time of hiring were postdocs at the time of hiring; the other was a graduate student. Again, that’s not too different from N. America as a whole.

In summary, these results don’t surprise me at all (do they surprise you?). Statistically, recently-hired TT ecology asst. profs in Canada look just like those in the US.

p.s. I confess I feel a bit embarrassed to have published this fairly boring post the day after Meghan published an interesting, important post.


1 thought on “A statistical profile of recently-hired TT Canadian ecologists

  1. Pingback: Useful links related to tenure track job searches in ecology (last update Feb. 2019) | Dynamic Ecology

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